December 10, 2018

Fly With Me Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to Fly With Me Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Fly With Me by Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from the Yolen-Stemple family plus 5 chances to win a copy!

Come Fly With Us
by Heidi E. Y. Stemple

L to R: Adam, Jane, Heidi, Jason
Imagine this: You propose the craziest book you can think of about your favorite
subject.  “It will be a book about birds and have science, folklore, conservation, fun
facts, practical tips, state birds, stuff about bird song and people who study it, as well
as people who save birds.  Oh, and it will have poetry, too!”  Well, we did that. We
proposed this book. And National Geographic Kids said “That sounds great! Let’s do
it!”  So we did.  The “we” is my entire family—me, my mother, author Jane Yolen,
and both my brothers, Adam and Jason Stemple. Adam is better known as a novelist
and a musician, and Jason is primarily a nature photographer.  But, we all love birds.
We got that from David Stemple—my father.  You might remember him as Pa in my
mom’s book OWL MOON which won the Caldecott in 1988.

For FLY WITH ME, we split up the subjects and got to work researching. Each piece,
as it was written, was sent to me and I set them into the whole. We were sure that
National Geographic would think we were nuts. We just kept adding stuff as we found
it. I would be researching endangered birds and find a new one. So, I added that in.  I
would send a frantic email to one of my brothers, “I need 200 words on the Bald
Eagle!” My mother would text me to say she the book would be incomplete without a
section on citizen science so we’d include it. We assumed NatGeo would choose only
what they wanted and toss the rest. But, they loved the direction we chose and the
book, kept everything and, in the end, all 200 pages (give or take) wound up better
than we dreamed! 

We think FLY WITH ME is a perfect book for science class, a budding ornithologist,
your grandmother who taught you to love birds, or a new baby. The pictures, alone,
are worth it.  But, there is so much information, both educational and fun—starting right on the endpapers-- that we think every bird lover will spend hours with it.  It’s a
bird party on every page.

Bird Party
Invitations sent,
the feeders filled,
millet stocked,
and bread’s been spilled.
The guests arrive
without delay,
robins, wrens,
one noisy jay.
In the grass
and on the deck,
doves mill around
while finches peck.
The crow’s attempted
party crashing—
met with vigilant
thrashers thrashing.
Chit chit, chit chit
It’s a backyard bird

Poem ©2018 Heidi E.Y. Stemple

Blog Tour Schedule:
December 10th — A Dream Within a Dream
December 11th — Kid Lit Frenzy
December 12th — Christy's Cozy Corners
December 13th — Colorimetry
December 14th — Chat with Vera


Enchanting stories, lyrical poems, stunning photography, and fascinating science fill
the pages of this treasury celebrating the amazing world of birds.

This thoughtful and beautifully curated collection of our flying, feathery friends
highlights the role birds play in human life from centuries ago to present day. While
it's beautiful, it's also full of valuable real science about these wondrous creatures.
From history and behavior to spotting and photographing, there's sure to be something
for every bird fan in your flock. Young birders will learn all about migration and the
importance of habitat conservation. They'll find stories about bird rescues and fun
facts about the fastest, strongest, and tiniest fliers. They'll also discover the best bird
nests, sweet songs to sing, ways to listen for and identify the birds around them, and
more. Paired with stunning art and photography and beautiful design, this treasury is
sure to become a classic for bird enthusiasts of all ages.

Fly with Me was created to help celebrate Year of the Bird, National Geographic's
2018 initiative to bring awareness to the plight of birds around the world. 

"Yolen and her three children celebrate birds with a lavishly illustrated
compendium of facts, photographs, and poetry...As is characteristic of National
Geographic publications, the plentiful photographs are well-chosen and
beautifully reproduced. A treasure for browsers and bird lovers everywhere." - Kirkus Starred Review

"With text that never talks down to its audience, this makes an ideal choice for family sharing or classroom browsing." - Booklist


L to R: Adam, Jane, Heidi, Jason

JANE YOLEN is an author of children's books, fantasy, and
science fiction, including Owl Moon, The Devil's Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? She is also a poet, a teacher of writing and literature, and a reviewer of
children's literature.

HEIDI STEMPLE was 28 years old when she joined the family business, publishing
her first short story in a book called Famous Writers and Their Kids Write Spooky
Stories. The famous writer was her mom, author Jane Yolen. Since then, she has
published 20 books and numerous short stories and poems, mostly for children.
Stemple, her two daughters, her mom, and a couple cats live in Massachusetts on a big
old farm with two houses.

JASON STEMPLE is an author and photographer. He lives with his wife and children
in Charleston, South Carolina.

ADAM STEMPLE is a novelist and musician. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Follow Jane: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Follow Heidi: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Follow Adam: Website

Follow Jason: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Follow National Geographic Kids: Website | Twitter |  

Books: Twitter | FacebookYoutube
One (1) winner will receive a copy of Fly With Me 
US/Canada only

 To enter the giveaway, leave a meaningful comment on the post and a way for me to get in touch with you in case you're the winner!

The Circus Thief Blog Tour: Tens List + Giveaway

The Circus Thief
Author: Alane Adams
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: SparkPress 
Ages: 4-8 years
Grades: Preschool-2


The circus is in town, and Georgie has his heart set on going. When Papa agrees to take him and his friend Harley, the boys marvel at the amazing elephants and clowns. But the best act of all is the amazing Roxie, a trained horse who can do all sorts of tricks. When Georgie is invited to ride on her back, he discovers it’s her last show―Roxie is going to be sent to the work farm! When Roxie bolts with Georgie on her back, Papa must come to his rescue.

The Circus Thief is a heartwarming tale of boyhood set in 1920s Pennsylvania for children ages 4–8.


“The circus is bursting with amazing sights and sounds, from clowns and elephants to a lady with a beard, in The Circus Thief, a delightfully nostalgic tale of compassion, kindness, and generosity.” ―Foreword Clarion Reviews

“Bright, brave characters star in this exhilarating tale of magic and mystical creatures.” ―Kirkus Reviews

You can purchase The Circus Thief at the following Retailers:

 Ten reasons to read THE CIRCUS THIEF

1. The illustrations are amazing.

2. It has a circus horse!

3. It teaches kids that doing your chores has its rewards.

4. It gives kids a glimpse of life in the 1920s.

5. It’s a delightful book to read together.
6. Kids will want to read it over and over again.

7. Georgie’s excitement is infectious. Kids will be begging to go to the circus!

8. When papa buys the horse, even though money is tight, we see what a big heart he has.

9. It’s the fourth and final Thief book.

10. The illustrations—did I mention them? They really are outstanding.
Alane Adams is a children’s author, professor, and literacy advocate. She is the author of the Legends of Orkney fantasy mythology series for tweens; she also writes Early American picture books for young children. Adams lives in Southern California. 

Author Links:
TWITTER: @AlaneAdamsBooks

(1) Winner will receive an Exclusive THE CIRCUS THIEF by Alane Adams Gift Box.
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter


December 9, 2018

Book Blast + Giveaway: For the Love of Laura Beth by Aubrey Wynne

For the Love of Laura Beth
Author: Aubrey Wynne


The Korean War destroyed their plans, but the battle at home may shatter their hearts... 

Laura Beth Walters fell in love with Joe McCall when she was six years old. Now she is counting the days until Joey graduates from college so they can marry and begin their life together. But the Korean War rips their neatly laid plans to shreds. Instead of a college fraternity, Joey joins a platoon. Laura Beth trades a traditional wedding for a quick trip to the courthouse. 

The couple endure the hardship of separation, but the true battle is faced when Joey returns from the war. Their marriage is soon tested beyond endurance. Laura must find a way to accept the tragedy thrown in their path or lose the love that has kept them anchored for so long. With a determination that only comes from the heart, Joe relentlessly fights an invisible enemy...for the love of Laura Beth.

Praise for For the Love of Laura Beth:

Warmth, compassion, heartache, faithfulness and more are emotions you will experience as you read this. I was completely immersed in this Korean War era tale, the historical details making the story come alive. 

Aubrey Wynne did an awesome job with this Historical book. 

Thank you Aubrey Wynne for a very beautifully written story!! 

An emotional read about the life, fears, and love during the Korean War! Aubrey Wynne begins each chapter with a thought-provoking quote. As a Midwesterner, who often visited Chicago in the 1950s, this romance includes well-researched historical details about Chicago, the era, and journalism. Aubrey Wynne blends history with a nicely paced full of family dynamics love story.
“Men always want to be woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.” 

Oscar Wilde 

Chapter One 

Late April 1949 
Kankakee, south of Chicago  

It was the kind of first kiss all girls dreamed of, hoped for, and rarely received. The kind of first kiss a girl saw in the movies or read in romance novels. The kind of first kiss a girl only whispered about because the moment was too precious to share. 

A moment Laura Beth Walters had waited over ten years for. She sighed and leaned her cheek into the hand that still cupped her face, afraid to open her eyes. 

Joe put his forehead against hers. “So this is love.” 

Her lips still tingled from his touch. Her heart clamored against her chest. She wondered briefly if life would ever be this sweet again. Yes, this was love. 

She’d known it since first grade, but Mom said boys were a bit slower in the cleverness department. She peeked through her lashes and looked into his deep chocolate eyes. His lids were half closed, and a sated smile played on his lips, as if he’d just tasted something heavenly. Me, she thought wickedly. The moon threw shadows across his strong jaw and square chin. He was the most handsome boy in Kankakee. No, in the state of Illinois. No, in the entire Midwest. 

“Yes, Mr. McCall, I do believe it’s love.” She ran her fingertips down his cheek, the coarse, dark stubble bristly on her skin. Warmth spiraled through her with the intimate gesture. “What do you think?” 

“I think I understand why my mom smiled at me, and my pa thumped me on the shoulder when I left tonight.” Joe moved his hands around her waist, pulling her close. “So your parents will let you go to the prom with a senior?” 

Laura shrugged, trying for poise but failing miserably when the grin would not leave her face. Daddy had been reluctant to let her date. Her mother had come to the rescue, convincing him that sixteen was old enough to date a boy they trusted. The McCalls lived down the street and owned the local mechanic shop. Joe was a hardworking, polite boy. Their families attended neighborhood barbecues, community, and school functions together. 

“I’m practically a senior.” 

“And Roger Willard will be practically comatose if he ever buys you another soda. I saw him giving you the eye last week.” He leaned closer and whispered in her ear. “I don’t know how I missed you graduating from the Bobbysox Brigade and becoming such a dish, but I’m crazy about you now.” 

Their first date had come about by accident. She had been at the drug store, having a malt with a group of friends early last March. Tuesdays and Saturdays were her favorite days because Joe worked then. He looked so handsome in his white hat and jacket—like a sailor or a doctor. 

Laura had ordered a strawberry malt and was waiting for Joe to make it. He’d rubbed her head, still treating her like a child. “Give me a minute, kid.” 

“I’ll buy that,” Roger said to Joe as he slid onto the stool next to her. 

Joe had nodded and glanced over his shoulder, a puzzled expression on his face as he took in the other boy. “Nah, I got it for her.” 

“I said I’ll buy Laura Beth the malt,” Roger had repeated through clenched teeth. 

Joe, a scowl on his face, had set the malt on the counter with a thud that made the other girls giggle. “Fine. Like I care who buys it for her.” 

But Joe had rubbernecked from across the counter while the teenager tipped his head close to Laura’s and made her laugh. He studied Roger, then his sweet childhood friend, and then frowned at the boy as if something was definitely off. She knew the second it hit him, recognized the shock on his face. 

“You’re sweet on her. Sweet on my little Laura Beth.” He shook his head and then looked at her again, as if for the first time. 

“I’m done here in half an hour. Wait for me,” Joe had said, with a glower at Roger. 

“Sure, Joey, I’ll wait,” she replied in her sweetest voice, and then continued to talk Roger.  
Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante's Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2019. Once Upon A Widow series will officially launch in March 2019, the Wicked Earls’ Club will release again just in time for the holidays.   

$50 Blast Giveaway 
Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash 
Ends 1/2/19 

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.    


December 8, 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Reckless by Sybil Bartel


Reckless (Alpha Bodyguard #3)
Author: Sybil Bartel
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: December 3, 2018




Bad boy.

I didn’t come from the wrong side of the tracks. I was the wrong side. Every clichĂ© you could think of, my family embraced. The only advantage I had was being the best-looking out of all my brothers. Except when I joined the Marines, looks didn’t count for shit downrange.

I wasn’t active duty anymore, and working for the best personal security firm in the business, my looks were getting me in more trouble than they were worth. I just didn’t realize how much trouble until a princess from a country I’d never heard of asked for me by name. Her request was simple—me, my gun, and an art opening. But she recklessly failed to mention one crucial part of the assignment… pretend to be her new fiancĂ©.

Now she was about to find out how reckless a bodyguard could be.

*RECKLESS is a sexy new standalone book in the Alpha Bodyguard Series

The Alpha Bodyguard Series:

Luna opened the door immediately. “Living room.” He stepped back, letting me in.

I smelled her before I saw her.

Exotic spice mixed with ocean breeze, and I knew I was fucked. That kind of smell only came from someone with more money than I’d make in a hundred lifetimes—the kind of money that was generations deep. I may have grown up poor as hell, but this job had taught me there was all kinds of money.

This one was going to be classy.

I rounded the corner and almost froze in my tracks.

She wasn’t anything like the matriarch I was expecting. She was young.

And fucking stunning.

Covering my surprise, I smiled and, using my manners, held my hand out. “Damian Tyler, ma’am, but everyone calls me Tyler.”

Gorgeous, dark caramel-colored eyes looked at my hand then darted to my face, like she was as surprised to see me as I was her. Then her expression shut down, and her dark brown, almost black, hair shifted to cover half her face. Her hands clasped in front of her, resting regally against her white dress, she didn’t lift her slim, tanned arm to meet my gesture. She didn’t even move. She just stared at me.

Glancing at Luna, I dropped my hand.

Luna tipped his chin toward the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. “This is Sophia Paradis.”

Caught in her unwavering gaze again, I stared back. “Okay.”

Luna glanced at her. “Keep going?”

She inclined her chin once.

“More specifically,” Luna added. “This is Princess Calandra Sophia Paradis Spiros.”
Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.

Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.

She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.


December 7, 2018

Children of Jubilee Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to the Children of Jubilee Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Children of Jubilee (Children of Exile #3) on December 4th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from author Margaret Peterson Haddix and 10 chances to win the complete trilogy!

Current Events
by Margaret Peterson Haddix

On September 10, 2001, I finished up a long day of writing feeling relieved and delighted. I was in the early stages of writing a book that would eventually become Among the Barons, and until that day, I’d felt indecisive and directionless and full of doubt that what I was working on would ever amount to anything. But something shifted that day, and by day’s end, I felt as though I suddenly knew everything that was going to happen in the book, what it all meant, and exactly how I was going to write it.

I was as full of certainty as it’s possible to be as a writer.

Then the next day was September 11.

I didn’t live in New York City or Washington, D.C., and though I had friends who did, none of them were injured or killed. I was lucky, and so were they. But like almost every other American, I had the sense that the terrorist attacks changed everything, and everything I’d assumed before then about what life was like seemed wrong.

Every shred of certainty I’d had about Among the Barons was gone, too, and that baffled me. Among the Barons is set in a completely fictional futuristic world, and it has no connection to New York City or Washington, D.C., at the dawn of the twenty-first century; it has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda. On paper, there was no reason for me to abandon the plans I’d made the day before.

But I knew I had to. There was no way I could write the book as I’d planned it in the innocent ignorance of September 10.

All writers filter the stories they plan to tell through the prism of their own experiences. And when an event as cataclysmic as September 11 occurs, that resets every writer’s filter.

Also, feeling gobsmacked in real life makes it very hard not to feel similarly gobsmacked in writing and plans for writing. And no matter how much writers may want to go into a hermit-like existence while they’re writing, it’s impossible for them not to be affected by real life, both as an individual and in connection with the rest of the world.

Besides Among the Barons, my newest book—Children of Jubilee—is probably the one most affected by the current events swirling around me as I wrote. I began writing Jubilee as the 2016 presidential campaign raged. One of the many factors that horrified me about that election year was the way that people on opposing sides of the political aisle seemed to be able to watch the exact same events—and see something totally different. At times, the two sides didn’t even seem to be speaking the same language.

I wanted to believe that things would get better once the election actually happened, but that was false hope.

So in the midst of that, when people living in the same country seemed unable to find common ground, how could I possibly expect to write a book where creatures from different planets and vastly different civilizations work through their differences and figure out how to work together?

I struggled a lot writing Children of Jubilee. But as horrified as I constantly was, seeing what was going on in my country, it also forced me to dig deeper as I thought about the dilemmas my characters faced. I couldn’t just give my characters a glib, too-easy resolution: “And then everyone saw that they had to work together, and they did, happily and peacefully. The end.” Nope. At a time when I was feeling very angry about political situations, I couldn’t depict entire civilizations just shrugging and easily turning their backs on deeply held viewpoints.

But the real events going on around me also made me feel as though the answers my characters would find were truly important—the writing was worth the struggle. Sure, what I was writing was fiction, but fiction can often lead the way to help people figure out their real problems, too. And because I write for kids, I know that I have a particularly impressionable audience--and, ultimately, a very influential one. The ten-year-old who reads a kids’ book today could theoretically still be voting in the 2116 U.S. election. (And, yes, thinking too much about this is a good way for a writer to become overwhelmed and incapable of writing another word.) 

 Of course I can’t say how everything is resolved in Children of Jubilee—you’ll have to read the book to find out. But if someone who’s still going to be around for the 2116 election wants to think about that ending in the voting booth, I’m okay with that.

Blog Tour Schedule:

December 3rd — Beach Bound Books
December 4th — Ms. Yingling Reads
December 5thChristy's Cozy Corners
December 6thCrossroad Reviews
December 7th — A Dream Within A Dream

December 10th — Book Briefs
December 11th — Chat with Vera
December 12th — Bookhounds
December 13th — Java John Z's
December 14th — Unleashing Readers


Kiandra has to use her wits and tech-savvy ways to help rescue Edwy, Enu, and the others from the clutches of the Enforcers in the thrilling final novel of the Children of Exile series from New York Times bestselling author, Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Since the Enforcers raided Refuge City, Rosi, Edwy, and the others are captured and forced to work as slave labor on an alien planet, digging up strange pearls. Weak and hungry, none of them are certain they will make it out of this alive.

But Edwy’s tech-savvy sister, Kiandra, has always been the one with all the answers, and so they turn to her. But Kiandra realizes that she can’t find her way out of this one on her own, and they all might need to rely on young Cana and her alien friend if they are going to survive.

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at

 Follow Margaret: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
One (1) winner will receive the complete Children of Exile trilogy: Children of Exile, Children of Refuge, and Children of Jubilee
US/Canada only
To enter, leave a meaningful comment on this post and a way for me to get in touch with you if you're selected as the winner!

BookTrib's Holiday Giveaway - Harlequin Romance Box!

Many will swoon over this week’s BookTrib giveaway, 20 different Harlequin romances to one lucky winner. As part of BookTrib's Holiday Giveaway, they will be gifting a box of 20 books, matching various themes, each week to one lucky winner through the month of December. Like what you see? Enter from now to December 13th for a chance to win all of these titles in their romance box! 

Click on the image above to enter or find the giveaway here:


December 6, 2018

Love a la Mode Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm 
Pub. Date: November 27, 2018 
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion 
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook 
Pages: 304 


Take two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir. ... 

Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent's school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn't all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes. 

Henry Yi grew up in his dad's restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent's school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie's growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away. 

Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs. 

Perfect for lovers of Chopped Teen Tournament and Kids Baking Championship, as well as anyone who dreams of a romantic trip to France, Love la Mode follows Rosie and Henry as they fall in love with food, with Paris, and ultimately, with each other.

Find it:Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD
“Wow.” Henry whistled. “That’s quite a cake. I would have gasped too.”

Henry had never seen a person literally light up before, but that’s what this girl did. And now he was staring. Which he definitely needed to stop immediately. So Henry looked down at his magazine again. It was quite a cake. Three layers of cake interspersed with layers of jam and lemon cheesecake, according to the caption—and topped with pickled strawberry icing and a ring of what looked like crumbled cookies. The sides were exposed so they could see every delicious layer.

“It—it’s Christina Tosi, isn’t it?” she said shyly. “The exposed sides of the cake. That’s her thing. And the milk crumbs on top. I recognize them, from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook.”

Henry looked closer—she was right. They weren’t cookies.

“Milk crumbs?” he asked.

“They’re made with milk powder and white chocolate. Really good… What flavor’s the cake?”

“Strawberry lemon.” Henry was staring at her again. He’d never seen someone’s face look like that when talking about pastry before.

“Mmm. That one’s not in the cookbook. I’ve made the apple pie cake and the birthday cake, of course. I make that one every year for Owen’s birthday. My brother,” she clarified. “Although . . .” She chewed her lip distractedly. “I’m not sure what he’s gonna do this year... Maybe Mom will make him the Funfetti cake, from the mix. Like I did. Before I knew about Christina Tosi.”

She went back to chewing on her lip. Henry hadn’t known that someone chewing on her lip could be quite so distracting.

“You can have it,” he blurted out.

“What?” she asked.

“The magazine. You can have my magazine.” Henry held it out across the aisle eagerly. Too eagerly.

“Oh, no, I couldn’t—”


“No, I can’t—”

“Take it.” He shook it at her insistently. It was suddenly incredibly, vitally important that the girl take his magazine. “Take it. Please take it.”

“I—I— When you’re done reading it,” she said firmly. “It’s Lucky Peach, right? I’ve never seen a paper copy before. I’ve only read it online.”

Henry nodded and put the magazine back on his tray table, wondering how he could possibly read it knowing she would have it after him. What if there were chocolate stains on the earlier pages? Who knew what horrors he’d left behind, lurking within those innocent pages? Was there an embarrassing way to read a magazine? Probably. And he’d probably been doing it the whole time.

“I just have one question—sorry.”

Henry looked up, and the girl smiled at him apologetically.

Henry smiled back, probably in a lame way. Why was everything he did so lame?

“Just one question before I let you finish reading. Sorry. I mean, I’m not sorry.” She cleared her throat and shook her head. “I’m just curious. Does it say if she used an offset spatula to ice the top layer? Ateco, I’m assuming? Did it say what size the blade is?”

And that was the moment Henry started to worry that he might have fallen in love.
Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of It's Not Me, It's You; The Taming of the Drew; Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink; Confederates Don't Wear Couture and the upcoming The Date to Save and Prince in Disguise (Fall 2017). She grew up on the Connecticut coast, where a steady diet of Little House on the Prairie turned her into a history nerd at an early age. After graduating with a joint major in theater and history from Middlebury College, she acted her way around the country, performing in more than 25 states. 

Although she was born in New York, she currently lives in Chicago, and doesn't discriminate against any type of pizza. When she's not writing, she loves baking, walking her dog Lorelei, taking dance cardio classes too seriously, and playing board games with her husband. Photo credit: Melissa Lynn 

(3) winners will win a signed finished copy of LOVE A LA MODE - US Only.

Tour Schedule: 
Week One: 
11/26/2018- Mary Had a Little Book Blog- Review 
11/27/2018- Oh Hey! Books.- Excerpt 
11/28/2018- Here's to Happy Endings- Review 
11/29/2018- A Gingerly Review- Review 
11/30/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland- Review 
Week Two: 
12/3/2018- Novel Novice- Review 
12/4/2018- Do You Dog-ear?- Review 
12/5/2018- The Hermit Librarian- Review 
12/6/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt 
12/7/2018- YA Book Nerd- Review 
Week Three: 
12/10/2018- Eli to the nth- Review 
12/11/2018- BookHounds YA- Review 
12/12/2018- Savings in Seconds- Review 
12/13/2018- Clarissa Reads It All- Review 
12/14/2018- Kait Plus Books- Review 
Week Four: 
12/17/2018- Book Dragon Lair- Review 
12/18/2018- EatingbetweenthelinesINC- Review 
12/19/2018- Smada's Book Smack- Review 
12/20/2018- Lifestyle of Me- Review 
12/21/2018- The Heart of a Book Blogger- Review